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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Man City v Newcastle: Visitors can add to goal count

Man City v Newcastle: Visitors can add to goal count

Manchester City continue to wobble but can outscore Newcastle at the Etihad on Wednesday evening, says Dave Tindall...

Man City v Newcastle
Wednesday, 18:00
Live on BT Sport 1

All that glitters...

It's very easy to get sucked in by Manchester City's brilliance.
As snooker fans will know with Ronnie O'Sullivan, he plays the game to such a level sometimes that defeat seems out of question.
But Sullivan loses often and so do Manchester City.
A team that averaged 99 points over the last two seasons has lost nine league games in this campaign after a 1-0 reverse at Southampton last time out. They'll only just limp into the 80s if they win all five remaining games.
Clearly their brittle underbelly is more exposed on the road and seven defeats from 17 is ridiculous for a team of this talent.
But there have been hiccups at home as well, with two draws and two defeats.
Strip away the mesmerising passages of play and the cold, bare facts are that City are vulnerable.
Technically, they still need a few more points to secure a top four finish but, league-wise, they're in a kind of no-man's land - 23 behind Liverpool but eight clear of third-placed Leicester.
And with cups to chase, Pep Guardiola won't want to keep playing his best XI.

Magpies taking flight

A point behind Everton. Two back from Spurs. Five adrift of surprise packages Sheffield United...
Yep, Newcastle's post-lockdown rally has lifted them to 12th and a top-half finish is withing striking distance.
It's been two wins and two draws in the league since football returned, their one away day resulting in a 4-1 thumping of Bournemouth.
In fact, Magpies fans with good memories will note that they've now won their last three away games following victories at West Brom (FA Cup) and Southampton in March.
The only blip since they returned was a 2-0 loss to Wednesday's opponents, Manchester City, in the FA Cup last weekend although home draws with Aston Villa and West Ham either side suggest that they may enjoy the freedom of going to the Etihad with a puncher's chance when expectations aren't really on them.
Again, let's look at the bottom line and note that Steve Bruce's men are unbeaten in their last six Premier League games (won three, drawn three). The last time they enjoyed a longer undefeated run was nine years ago.

Newcastle huge price for shock

It's just 1.15 that Man City pick up all three points which, of course, means there will be big, big prices on the other two outcomes.
The Draw is 10.50 while Newcastle are 25.00 to score a memorable win.
Both of those will tempt fans who want to play on City's Jekyll and Hyde form this season.
Not that I'm going there but if trying to come up with a watertight case for City you'd point to the recent 2-0 win in the FA Cup.
And you'd also note that they've been purring at home despite the lack of fans. Since the restart, it's three games, three wins, 12 goals scored, none conceded and their victims include champions Liverpool (4-0).
Go back further in head-to-head history and City have won 13 and drawn the other two of the last 15 home encounters with Newcastle.

Magpies can find the net

However, City's less-than-watertight defence combined with Newcastle's perkiness in front of goal again makes me think the Magpies can get on the scoresheet here.
I still think City will bank the victory but backing them to do so whilst conceding bumps the basic win price all the way up to 15/8 (Sportsbook).
For the record, Newcastle lost this fixture 2-1 last season and 3-1 the campaign before that. Add in a 6-1 defeat from 2015 and Man City and Both teams to Score has landed the last three times the duo have squared up at the Etihad.

Goals another option

I'm expecting at least three goals obviously and the basic Over 2.5 is just 1.45.
As with every City game, you need to go Over 3.5 to find odds-against and that's 2.08.
Obviously the added appeal there is that City could do it on their own as they did in the 5-0 over Burnley or 4-0 against Liverpool.
However, I'm sticking to the idea that Newcastle play a part and City simply outscore them.
Both teams to Score, incidentally, is 2.56 and that's another way to support the idea of a Newcastle goal.

Toon stars are worth a look

There's no great appeal with any of the City players on the Sportsbook with Gabriel Jesus just 4/7 to score.
Even Phil Foden is just 6/4 so nothing is being given away with the home players.
But, again, for those prepared to take a bit of a punt a couple of Newcastle players could fit the bill.
Miguel Almiron has scored in the last two games while Jonjo Shelvey netted at home to West Ham on Sunday and also fired a late equaliser when Newcastle held City to a 2-2 draw earlier in the season.
Both are priced at 9/1.

Opta Stat

Manchester City have made a league-high 120 changes to their starting XI in the Premier League this season, including six changes last time out. Indeed, City failed to score against Southampton despite having 26 shots - they last failed to score in consecutive Premier League games in March 2016.